Sweet disposition – Paddington welcomes pink-hued Sweethearts Cupcakes
Nothing is more pleasing on the eyes (and the palate) than a picture-perfect cupcake. The combination of a light and fluffy base, a swirl of coloured frosting and – if we’re lucky – a cheeky dusting of sprinkles is all it takes to put us in a good mood, and now there’s a new cake shop on Latrobe Terrace that is specialising in the kind of meticulously crafted cupcakes we love – the kind that are almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Baking has always been a big part of Jo James-Watts’s life, ever since her youth. Poring over cookbooks, experimenting with flavours and brightening people’s day grew to be more than a childhood hobby – eventually the passion led her to studying cookery. After starting a family Jo pivoted her career to the corporate world, but baking nevertheless remained a beloved fixture of her life. Jo continued to bake in her spare time, whipping up colourful cakes for her kids and coworkers, brightening up the notoriously drab world of office work with lovingly baked treats. Dabbling on the side eventually became a lucrative exercise, with Jo expanding her baking output to cater to weddings and the odd cafe. Eventually Jo returned to baking full time, and soon enlisted the help of her daughter Taylor to handle front-of-house duties for a forthcoming cupcake-focused concept. The team secured a light-filled space within the Plaza Theatre building on Latrobe Terrace to set up shop, renovating the tenancy (previously home to Stefani’s on Latrobe) over Christmas, overhauling the kitchen and removing dark panelling in favour of an eye-catching white-and-pink aesthetic. Soon Jo had the perfect space to bring her long-held recipes to life, and two weeks ago Sweethearts Cupcakes opened to the public.
Sweethearts Cupcakes has two cabinets showcasing Jo’s array of classic and gourmet cupcakes, with a rotation of 15-to-20 core flavours cycling daily. Leading the selection is Jo’s signature creation, a fluffy vanilla-bean cupcake with raspberry icing topped with fondant, but that’s not all that Jo whips up on the regular. Other must-try options include the delectable apple-crumble cupcake filled with house-made custard, the lemon meringue cupcake boasting house-made lemon curd and topped with lightly torched meringue, chocolate and salted-caramel cupcakes, orange, almond and toffee cupcakes, and the always popular red velvet. Take-away packs can be filled with your choice of treat, from humble two-cupcake boxes to office-pleasing 12 packs. All cupcakes are made from scratch using locally sourced ingredients (including bespoke sprinkles from Sprinkle Dust), and one cabinet is dedicated to vegan and gluten-free cupcakes. Few things pair with a cupcake as well as a cup of coffee, and Jo and Taylor have recruited local roaster Blackstar as Sweethearts’ caffeine supplier. Also on deck is a selection of T2 teas, HRVST ST juices, kombucha and decadent milkshakes. A retail section features take-home bags of Blackstar beans and aprons, but Jo and Taylor hope to stock more gourmet and artisanal goods made by small, mum-operated businesses. Sweethearts Cupcakes also hosts after-hours events and high teas, and custom orders can be placed with a minimum of 48-hours notice.
Sweethearts Cupcakes is now open on Latrobe Terrace. For contact details and operating hours, head to the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.